I was born a wanderer, and am constantly traveling (with or without companions.)
I learn something new every time I go exploring, but this question surfaced a specific memory.
Behind my childhood home, there was a small forested area where I would often go to play after school. I would climb trees, chase rabbits, make mud pies – all the normal things kids do in a forest.
One day, there was a cat that I hadn’t seen before, that didn’t have a collar, and I decided to run after it (carefully.) I followed it through the other side of the trees and came upon a brick building with a bunch of Windows.
In one of the Windows, there was a woman, frantically calling out. The cat ran toward her and jumped through the window, and she looked instantly relieved.
I approached and started talking to her. She told me her name, and the cat’s name, and a bit about herself. As we talked, she mentioned that this was her home and that she didn’t have many visitors anymore, as her husband and sister had passed away and she had no children.
After about an hour, I realized I had to go home. She looked so sad that I had to leave, so I promised I would come back when I could.
A few days later, I came back through the woods and knocked on the window. We talked like before, and she had such amazing stories about her life during the Great Depression.
For weeks this went on, I’d come every few days. I’d come outside the window and she’d tell me about her life, her family, etc, and we’d play with her cat, passing the time together.
One day, I came by and knocked, and she didn’t recognize me. She looked frightened and told me to go away. I was confused, so I did.
I waited until a week or so until I came back, only this time I came inside. I asked at the front desk if I could knock on her door, as is counted the Windows from the outside and I was pretty sure I knew which apartment was hers.
They already knew who I was (apparently), and considered me the lady’s daughter, so they let me in to see her. When I knocked, she opened the door and started to cry.
She thought I had abandoned her and I was never coming back after her last episode. I told her it wasn’t true, and that I’d keep coming. We had tea, she showed me pictures and we had a great chat.
I kept visiting her for the following months as her mind deteriorated. She soon stopped recognizing me, but instead she saw her sister once more in my eyes.
Around that time, the home was going to take her cat away (she could no longer care for it) so I adopted it.
And, one day when I showed up after school, she was no longer there. The supervisors and nurses sat me down to tell me, and to give me a box of her things, as there was no one else.
One solo trip in the forest one day cemented in me the importance of slowing down, being kind and taking the time to truly listen to others.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/Have-you-ever-gone-on-a-solo-trip-that-changed-the-course-of-your-life-completely
Originally Posted On: 2016-01-28